- The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with National Grid to work collaboratively on transmission modernization and energy storage technologies that can help build a more resilient and reliable grid.
- Topics to be researched include: grid-scale energy storage; advanced transmission network controls and monitoring; integration of distributed and variable energy resources; and enhanced grid cyber protection.
- Opportunities for collaborative actions include: research opportunities; joint workshops, lectures and symposia, and "other forums to promote enhancements in technology, education and industrial development" related to grid modernization and energy storage.
The agreement between PNNL and National Grid was borne out of participation in a DOE government/industry roundtable during the 2017 Earth Day Texas Expo and Conference. Officials say it envisions several options for cooperative efforts, including research, joint workshops, lectures, and other venues to promote enhancements in technology, education and industrial development.
"Innovation partnerships with the private sector are critical to the groundbreaking work our National Labs undertake," Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a statement. "DOE is committed to the modernization, reliability and resiliency of our grid and expanding energy storage research and this partnership is a great example of that commitment."
The collaboration is "a natural outcome of our organizations' mutual goal to optimize the benefits and value the transmission network can deliver to our customers," said Rudy Wynter, president and COO of National Grid's FERC-regulated businesses.
PNNL Director Steven Ashby said the collaboration with National Grid will allow the two entities to explore how new technologies like energy storage can be best integrated into the grid in order to keep the lights on during severe weather events and cyber threats, amid the "changing mix and types of electric generation, and the aging of the electricity infrastructure."